The Madness of Mobile Betting

Contributed by Myles Romm

March Betting Madness - Draft 3_25

The month of March can either be one of major disappointment or incredible happiness for college basketball teams and their respective fans. However, this year there seems to be a new winner and in a big way: mobile-betting operators. Recent legislation allowing for mobile-sports betting has led to a meteoric rise in gambling and profitable returns for these operators. This year alone, Forbes estimates that March Madness will lead to a record breaking $8.5 billion in betting transactions. March Madness has always drawn sports gamblers at significant engagement levels. Now, however, mobile betting has offered an easy and convenient way that has driven demand to extraordinary lengths. The future of interactive fandom has arrived, and mobile sports betting is leading the way.

Among the states that have legalized sports gambling, Michigan has quickly emerged as one of the states with the most room for growth. Michigan is a "No. 1 seed for online growth" in sports betting and iGaming, Bank of America Securities analyst Shaun Kelley said Monday. The betting numbers out of Michigan illustrate a clear desire for mobile betting and just how successful the industry will be as more states relax their gambling laws. Legal Sports Report writes, “Michigan posted the largest full opening month for any online sports betting states, topping $300 million in handle in January."

A rising star in the Michigan mobile betting space, BetMGM, maintains 25% of online betting in Michigan sitting right behind FanDuel. Yet, BetMGM is the only operator that made a profit as DraftKings and FanDuel ended up losing money by the end of January. This is most likely a result of the competitive bonuses operators are paying out as more companies enter the state of Michigan. Companies like WynnBet sportsbook, a relatively new operator in Michigan, is offering a $500-risk free bet for new users during March Madness. These promos and bonuses are standard among the operators—established or new—as they compete for new customers.

Michigan isn’t the only state where BetMGM is making headlines. In early March, BetMGM partnered with Buffalo Wild Wings to offer exclusive betting deals to individuals betting on the BetMGM app inside the restaurant. Using geolocation, the operator can target restaurant patrons and customize the betting experience along the way. This corporate partnership strategy is live in Colorado, New Jersey, Indiana, Iowa, Tennessee, and West Virginia, and points to interesting and creative ways these operators are trying to gain new customers.

Venuetize is working with our clients to integrate sports betting and gamification options into the mobile experience for fans. Whether delivering timely communications about an upcoming game, live odds and insights in team and venue apps, or using a geofence in venue to let VIPs know about a special offer they are eligible for if they visit the ‘sports lounge’ at the stadium - all bets are ‘on’ the table when it comes to the madness of mobile betting. Certain betting integrations allow engagement in a way that makes the sporting event more personal—essentially, there is more skin in the game and more excitement. The success witnessed with mobile sports betting from home will continue as fans re-enter stadiums. Teams and venues now have a measurable and proven tool to increase engagement and create a better (or bettor?) fan experience, which ultimately is increasing their bottom line.